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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD Region 0. Shameless.

There are those, even today, who maintain that Lucio Fulci was some sort of visionary genius, despite all the evidence pointing to the fact that he was, in reality, a hack who got lucky with a few projects. Given that even his best-loved work (The Beyond) now seems crushingly dull (seriously - watch it again without the rose-tinted glasses - or with someone who hasn't even heard of it - and I defy you to not be bored), what hope for one of his worst? Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you New York Ripper.

Coming after his fantastical zombie films, New York Ripper is a change of pace for Fulci, reverting back to the giallo genre. New York is being terrorised by a mad slasher who carves up 'sinful' women and taunts the police with what is generally referred to as a 'Donald Duck' voice - in reality, a ridiculous high-pitched whine combined with quacking. A slumming (and boy, his performance shows what he thinks) Jack Hedley plays the detective charged with catching the killer and wading his way through the usual red herrings.

Infamously escorted out of the country under the orders of idiot head censor James Ferman back in the 1980's, the film is still cut by 34 seconds - fans will know which scene. The remaining nastiness is pretty brutal, and overtly sexual, and for many viewers, the film will leave an unpleasant taste.

It must be said that the film is efficiently made, the ghastly bombastic score aside, but you'll feel unclean after watching it. I'm all for bad taste and gratuitous offensiveness, but this film simply seems squalid.

All that said, as someone who grew up with Fulci's films, I'm glad this is out there. Full marks to Shameless for resurrecting it, though I'm not sure where the market is - the hardcore Italian horror fans the label seems aimed at will no doubt already own the uncut version. The packaging is great, however, and the copious amount of sleazy trailers suggest that much better things are in the offing from this new label.






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